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NSC Estimates 518 People May Die in Preventable Car Crashes Over Thanksgiving Holiday

If the estimate holds true, Thanksgiving 2022 will be the deadliest since 2007.

November 17, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Holidays are traditionally a time of travel for families across the United States, and the Thanksgiving holiday is no different. Many people choose to travel by car to visit family and loved ones, but unfortunately, that mode of transportation is one of the most dangerous. According to National Safety Council estimates, from Wednesday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 27, 518 people may lose their life in a preventable car crash. If this estimate holds true, this will be the deadliest Thanksgiving since 2007.

“We hear it all the time, but if a loved one tells you to ‘drive safe,’ even out of habit, please do,” said Mark Chung, executive vice president of roadway practice at NSC. “As America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, the National Safety Council cannot stress enough the importance of taking safety personally, especially on the roads during the holidays.”

This year, Thanksgiving falls just days after the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Observed the third Sunday of November each year, the World Day of Remembrance is a global commemoration for the millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and acknowledges the suffering of all affected victims, families and communities. In the United States, local advocates, safety organizations, community leaders, elected officials and others are joining together to call for safer streets and prevent these tragedies while honoring the tens of thousands who are killed by traffic violence in our country each year. These tragedies require evaluation of all the ways to improve safety, including the design of America’s roads. National Safety Council President and CEO Lorraine Martin, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Co-founder of Families for Safe Streets Amy Cohen gathered together this week to discuss mobility safety in America and what must be done across public and private sectors to put safety first and save lives. When available, a video of the discussion can be found here.

“The United States loses far too many people to traffic violence, and it must stop,” said Chung. “As a country, we need to stop accepting that someone we know, someone we love, may not make it to that family gathering safely, or may not make it home at all.”

NSC and its partners continue to address longer-term change through strategies included in the Safe System approach and urge all road users to travel safely. For safe driving tips, including designating a sober driver, slowing down and buckling up, visit nsc.org/saferoads. Review supplemental information about the Thanksgiving Day holiday fatality estimates, and additional motor vehicle data and research at injuryfacts.nsc.org.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for more than 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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